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Northwoods Spotlight - High school bowling Feb 19Submitted: 02/19/2014

Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com


STEVENS POINT - Popular sports like football and basketball generally get the biggest crowds. They also get a lot of attention on the high school level.

But some Northwoods teams believe they're just as worthy. Newswatch 12's Ben Meyer hits the lanes with more.

NAT: 1,2,3 Yeah!

NAT: bowl

The competitors might be a little different than traditional prep athletes.
But walking into a packed alley might convince you high school bowling is absolutely legitimate.



"I think they would be amazed," Rhinelander bowling coach Mike Boarcier explains. "A lot of people don't understand this is a sport. They don't think it is a sport, but it is."

While it's not yet sanctioned by the WIAA, prep bowling is made attractive by the variety of bowlers – different ages, different genders, different skill levels, all on the same team.

"It's very diverse," Boarcier adds. "You don't have to be a top athlete…any shape, size, height, shortness, whatever, you can do this sport."

Comparing being on a bowling team to sports like football, softball, or basketball … depends on who you ask.

Tommy Strauss is a member of Rhinelander bowling team.

"It's completely different," Strauss said. "You really can't compare it. It's really more mental than it is physical."

Merrill bowler Zach Campbell adds, "I try to think of us, we're the same. I get crap a lot at school that says, it's not a real sport. But we do as much as they do like on a football team."

One difference is for sure, instead of a cutthroat competition mentality, bowlers can celebrate with their teammates, as well as opponents.

"The group dynamic of the whole thing intrigues me all of the time," Campbell explains. "I love it."

"What I like to do is I like to make sure everyone has fun," Strauss said. "You know, run around, and have everyone get involved. If you get too tense, you start thinking about it, and start messing up. If you just stay calm and start having fun, you'll do better."

The state bowling championships are in two weeks in Green Bay.

"We don't really get a lot of hype about this sport," Campbell said. "But we like it. There's really nothing else to it."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

VILAS COUNTY - A 77-year-old man died in a crash near Boulder Junction late Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Vilas County Sheriff's Office and Wisconsin State Patrol, it happened around 3:30 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and County Highway H.

Investigators think a van went through an intersection and hit a semi truck.

"There was injury," said Boulder Junction Fire Chief Matthew Reuss. "The two passengers in the van had to be extricated. One was taken to Howard Young Medical Center for further care. The driver of the semi was uninjured and the second passenger in the van was pronounced dead at the scene."

According to Wisconsin State Patrol, the driver of the van is a 68-year-old woman from Colby. Crews later took her to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield for non-life threatening injuries. Her passenger, a 77-year-old male from Colby, died in the crash. They were both wearing seatbelts. 

The driver of the semi is 63 years old and from South Range. 

Traffic was rerouted through Boulder Junction for several hours and was reopened shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday.

Several units responded to the scene.

"Because we had multiple patients, we dispatched multiple ambulance units," Reuss said. "We called in resources from Arbor Vitae for traffic control and we called Manitowish Waters for help in extrication and ambulance service as well as Medic 5 out of Howard Young."

State Patrol and the Vilas County Sheriff's Office will investigate the crash.

Police will not release the names until the families are notified. 

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STEVENS POINT - A baby in Portage County ended up in the hospital for seizures twice in three days last fall.  Police think the mother's live-in boyfriend may have shaken that baby.

Matthew Huettl, 25, pleaded not guilty to felony charges for first-degree reckless injury and child abuse in Portage County Court on Tuesday.

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NORTHWOODS - Roads stayed fairly safe north of highway eight Tuesday, but an ice storm caused a lot of slick conditions south of there.

As of Tuesday morning, the state patrol dealt with more than 200 incidents around the region.

But for the most part, drivers weren't crashing into each other.

"The number of slide ins have really outnumbered the number of crashes, which kind of tells us that's good that motorists have been listening and kind of adding a little more distance between themselves and other vehicles so that's good, so it looks like the total number of slide ins have been significantly higher than crashes," said State Patrol Sergeant, Dan Gruebele

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RHINELANDER - When police arrested Alexander Durand for stealing a car, they found he had been stealing mail as well.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Office arrested Durand, 21, Saturday for driving a car stolen from a house near Rhinelander. During that investigation, officers found a lot of other people's mail on Durand's property.

The mail was from all over Oneida County as well as other counties.  The Sheriff's Office will contact the people whose mail has been found.

Durand is due in court January 23.

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RHINELANDER - The streets of downtown Rhinelander changed quite a bit over the last year. The construction will pick up again this spring, but there is a possibility for some last-minute changes to those construction plans.

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The group works with the Oneida County Forest to improve trails.

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MERRILL - Republicans planned to go after the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, quickly after taking control of Congress and the White House. Less than a month into session and the House of Representatives started picking apart the healthcare law. Many Americans are wondering what will happen to Obamacare. Congressman Sean Duffy held a town hall at Les & Jim's Lincoln Lanes in Merrill this afternoon to answer the public's questions. 

According to Duffy (R-Weston), the Affordable Care Act will be repealed because it is effective for 20 million people, but not for all of America. 

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